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Water, sewer rates could increase

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According to Munford Mayor Dwayne Cole, the city's sewer and water rates have been very low for several years. 

Because of a letter he received from the state concerning the financial state of the water department, that may change. 

At Monday's meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Cole said the letter said the water department has been operating with “negative net assets” for the last two years, and that would likely be the case for this fiscal year as well. 

“These are issues we must deal with,” Cole said. “Several communities around have faced this too.”

Cole said there hasn't been a sewer rate increase in approximately 20 years and it's been five or six years since a water rate increase. 

Early next year Cole will meet with officials to decide how to fix the problem. 

“We have to bring a plan to the state,” Cole said, “or the state will set rates for us … I don't think it will be an overbearing number … We've enjoyed low rates for a very, very long time.”

In other matters:

• Police Chief Jim Harger reported that officers are now using tablets instead of laptops in squad cars. 

“They can take photos with the tablets now, which is good,” Harger said. “They did have to carry around cameras.”

• Fire Chief Alan Barkelew announced that Josh Thompson has been hired as a firefighter. 

• Cole said that letters were mailed to Munford residents asking if they would like to take part in the city-run trash collection service, which begins in January. Approximately 2,000 letters were sent, Cole said, and 1,500 agreed to take part. The deadline to opt out of trash collection is Dec. 2. 

• Barkelew was granted permission to apply for a $289,750 grant that would fund turnout gear, breathing devices and other equipment for the firemen. 

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